Yesterday I was talking with Enoch about his birthday. He turned the ripe age of 10 on the 19th of this month. "It feels like it was ages ago" said Enoch. It does. A week can seem like an eon at times - or like an asteroid flashing by with a bright light and a loud crash.
So lets travel back a week in time to see Enoch on his birthday. Enoch shares his B-day with the great Maratha warrior king Shivaji - so he - and all his friends - always have a holiday from school. Perfect for an afternoon party (and brutal on the parents who are up most of the night before).
The day started in time honoured Eicher fashion of a treasure hunt to find hidden gifts. The king of the gifts this year was a tool box from Oma and Opa - which had been given to me a good 35 years ago - and now was refurbished, repainted with Enoch's name on it, and restocked with brand-new 'real' tools!
After a day of banging in nails into wood - the neighbour below came up in a horribly grouchy mood late in the night with a statement that we need to 'keep some discipline!'
Maybe we can help him with his home repairs the next time he has a need.
But on to happier things...
The cake had finally been finished just before the party started. But in time for a picture with our birthday boy in his new threads:
And then the guests started to come.
Those who came on time were rewarded with a rousing starting game of blow-football. Enoch had made a stadium with lego the day before - and a full fledged match was soon underway - complete with shoving and calls for the referee to give free shots. And even a small bout of tears after feet got stamped on under the table!
But by and large - it was a clos'e fought match where straws were blown with ferocious strength to get the football to roll into the opponents' goal.
People coming to a party are always hungry - that's why its good to feed them chocolate! But you need to make our friends work a bit. Especially having them roll the die for a '6' and then working on getting off the gift wrapping and packaging using a blunt knife and fork - and trying to eat - before the next person in the round is able to roll a '6'!
We all love lego (at least I hope we do) - but can we build while wearing a blind-fold? We split up into two teams and had the team members give instructions to the builder about what to do. Hilarity ensued. "Take that one! No that one!" were some of the 'helpful' comments.
But soon the groups got the grips of it and with a bit of verbal help from their team-mates, simple shapes were fashioned.
These are games that we could not have played 4 years ago. Times change and our kids are stretching out in so many wonderful ways!
Some demands are insistent! One is for the "hunter" game where the children get words on pieces of paper and then hear a story being read. On hearing their word - or a 'wildcard word' - they can run to a place of safety. Last person there is out! It makes more fun when the 'safety place' is a couch where you can all get squashed on!
A time of reflection from the Bible - with this year's verse for Enoch about 'Running the race... to get a crown that lasts' rounded off our time together.
How much of our lives we spend chasing after things that just don't last. Who remembers the silver medalist in the 400 m Olympic finals from 2012? And that was just last year! For competitors at the time of St. Paul - their prize was a laurel wreath - which would definitely dry out pretty soon after it was won. How much more valuable to live our lives for something that lasts beyond this world! How much we want Enoch to be living his life for eternity.
It was wonderful to have Enoch's Oma and Opa with us too - and have Opa pray for Enoch on this special day.
And there were candles to blow out and a cake to be cut too!
Later in the evening - a meal with our dear dear friends John and Nalini Gabriel and their amazing daughters Nikita and Jasper. We celebrated the fact that we have now been at each others birthdays for 12 years! How amazingly good God is to us all.
Birthdays are so much fun.
Don't you wish you can have more than one a year?
We are so grateful for the joy of having Enoch with us for a decade now.
At the end of his next decade - on 19th Feb 2023 - we will have (God willing) an amazing 20 year old!
Let's see what joys we experience over these next 10 years of life together....